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Experimental setup and methodology for the analysis of rail lubricant effectiveness

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Ajay Desai, Gopinath Chattopadhyay, Richard Clegg, A Howie, PO Larsson-Kraik, B Prakash
Rail and wheel wear is a complex problem. Lubrication plays an important role in reducing wear and enhancing asset life. Curves and switches are the areas of major challenges. Tight curves when running dry shows wear rates higher to rapid wear, increased maintenance costs and non-availability of track due to maintenance or replacement. The economic analysis based on cut-off radius, lubricants and applicators takes a very long time using field data. Rail operators often face difficulties when selecting lubricants. Lubricant manufactures use different test standards when specifying lubricant properties. Four-ball test fails to give a meaningful indication of lubricant performance. The result is often a complex decision problem in ranking different lubricants under a particular axel load. An appropriate selection of lubricant for a particular rail application can give financial returns and extension of asset life. An experimental set up has been proposed in this paper. The experimental results are expected to be used for development of models on effective lubrication. This paper proposes experimental setups and methodology for analysis of lubrication effectiveness in heavy haul lines. Theories along with existing research to date relating to ranking of lubricants for rail applications and a criterion for the ranking is discussed. An analysis is carried out to compare lubricants used in Australian Heavy Haul lines based on manufacturer supplied specifications and experimental results.


Category 4 - CRC Research Income


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Stavanger, Norway


COMADEM International

Place of Publication

United Kingdom

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Centre for Railway Engineering; Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; Institute for Resource Industries and Sustainability (IRIS); QR National; Tekniska högskolan i Luleå;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

International Congress on Condition Monitoring and Diagnostic Engineering Management